The more popular the digital currencies become, the more serious and versatile the security threats grow. There are many growing companies out there that focus on cryptocurrencies with various focuses in their blockchains, and the need for proper security measures has never been bigger. Here are some tips on how to secure your digital currency assets.
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Keep your assets away from exchanges
If you deal with cryptocurrencies, you’re probably up to date with crypto news, and you are fully aware of the fact that there’s a bitcoin or ethereum exchange hack every couple of months. With a growing number of exchanges, hacking is rapidly becoming a more and more lucrative way to steal money. Exchanges are the biggest money pots in the crypto world and every hacker is well aware of this – they are filled with private user info and currencies that can be anonymously and instantaneously transferred to a wallet.
Although digital currencies can be stored on every exchange, the purpose of these platforms is purchasing cryptocurrencies, not storing them – you don’t have control of the private and public keys here! Digital currencies are supposed to be stored in wallet accounts – much safer options. Of course, the companies that provide wallets tend to charge minimum fees that are typically in percentage against the money being stored.
Use a hardware wallet
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The easiest crypto storing option is the digital wallet – it’s as simple as creating an online account on a website. This, however, is definitely not the safest option out there. Using a hardware wallet for your digital currencies is much safer. Advanced wallets (which we do recommend) allow you to store your currency the same way you store your everyday, paper money. Most importantly, quality hardware wallets do not keep the financial info online, but only on the device, which is the entire point of having an actual, physical crypto wallet.
Unfortunately, a hardware wallet makes the transactions (approval, etc.) somewhat cumbersome. The way around this would be storing a small amount in your app wallet to use in low-value transactions. Bear in mind, however, that you need to be able to say goodbye to the amount in the app wallet – don’t put more money here than you can bear to lose. Oh yeah, and never share your private key with anyone!
Hide your IP with VPN
VPN, or virtual private network, enables users to send and receive data across shared/public networks – essentially, VPN allows distant computer units to function as if they were connected directly to a private network. VPN is most commonly used as a means to hide users’ IP addresses. Essentially, VPN enables the parties to surf any website type by changing their IP address to a virtual identity.
In the crypto world, the VPN allows anonymity; if a hacker gets access to your information based on the IP address and cookies, they can easily reach your computer and hack your info – from your email ID to the actual cryptocurrencies.
Some cryptos offer GPG 2FA and GPG options for encrypted communication among clients; for instance, when you want to sell Dash, you can safely and seamlessly communicate with the community, without the risk of having your information stolen.
Use 2FA and email encryption
2FA or two-factor authentication is extremely important in general business-related mail, not to mention when it comes to cryptocurrencies. Protecting your email ID is crucial, which is exactly what 2FA is for. A free Gmail account comes with 2FA, so whenever someone tries to access your inbox, you immediately receive an SMS on your mobile device. Until the confirmation of the SMS message is entered, the email account is rendered inaccessible.
Email ID encryptions are awesome, too. They are cost-effective and efficient in protecting your private information – they make it difficult for the hackers to find your real identity. In order to use your inbox or wallet, a person needs to go through the encrypted protocol.
Protect your PC and mobile units
It is of utmost importance that your computer units are up to date with regard to everything from the OS to antimalware tools. Of course, installing software from unknown or unreliable sources is out of the question. Make sure that everyone using the units is thoroughly educated on everything regarding internet safety – you don’t want to end up having your entire wallet wiped clean because someone thought that they really won a grand prize for being the one-millionth visitor on a sketchy site.
The same goes for the mobile units – call the mobile provider (make sure that it’s unique for the entire team) and add additional protections to your account. We’re talking about stuff such as the PIN, password, port freeze, SIM lock, etc.
Use this list to make the most out of your crypto safety. Avoid storing money on exchanges, always opt for a hardware wallet instead of an app wallet, use both 2FA and email encryption, and VPN to hide your IP and make sure that all involved PC and mobile devices are protected.